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Navy: Data Protection

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what contact he has made with the devolved administrations to ensure that child protection measures are in place to protect anyone under 18 whose data were on the laptop recently stolen from a Royal Navy recruiting officer; (181586)

(2) what steps have been taken to ensure that anyone under 18 whose data were on the laptop recently stolen from a Royal Navy recruiting officer are protected from harm by child protection measures.

[holding answer 24 January 2008]: The Department takes very seriously any loss of personal data. My statement on 21 January 2008, Official Report, columns 1225-27 informed the House of the package of measures, reviews and investigations completed or under way to safeguard information held by the Ministry of Defence. Such measures are supplementary to the existing policies and procedures.

As I explained in the House on 21 January 2008, Official Report, column 1235 the loss was a matter for my Department and the UK Government and that if any issue required the involvement of the devolved Administrations they would be told.

In addition, the Department has taken action to assist all those, wherever they live, whose personal data may have been compromised. This includes verification of identity and careful scrutiny to protect personal data from unauthorised access or unlawful processing, including providing banks with the account details (where they were held) in order that the banks can monitor accounts for unauthorised activity. Officials are also in contact with the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the Identity and Passport Service and the Border and Immigration Agency. These measures are designed to protect the personal data of all individuals including those aged under 18. The individuals whom the Department has contacted have also been warned to be vigilant concerning unexpected contacts.